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Opticians are professionals who fill the prescriptions for corrective eyewear issued by optometrists and ophthalmologists. For people who wear glasses or contact lenses, working with an optician who is proficient and reliable is extremely important. Because the creation of corrective eyewear requires precision, knowledge, and a great deal of skill, training for this type of work is considered essential in most countries around the world. While optician training varies depending on local laws governing health care, there are a few basic aspects of training that apply just about everywhere.
In order to be accepted into any optician training program, the student must possess a high school diploma or an equivalent that is accepted by the institution offering the training. Often, some college may be helpful, especially courses that have to do with anatomy or mathematics. Requiring this basic educational foundation helps to ensure that anyone who wishes to train for a career in the field of eye care is ready to assimilate the data necessary to provide quality service to patients.
In many nations, optician training requires that the prospective optician enter and successfully complete an optician program that is recognized and fully accredited. Depending on local requirements, the program may be offered as a certificate program at a vocational school or as a two-year degree program at a local university or community college. As part of the program, students are usually required to take courses that have to do with higher mathematics, such as geometry and algebra. Physics and biology are also part of coursework often required for graduation. Along with these classes, optician training is also likely to include classes that have to do with ophthalmic and geometrical optics.
An alternative is to attend classes at an optometry school. While this environment is focused more on training optometrists, many of these schools also offer programs that are ideal for optician training. The optometry courses can prove invaluable in later years, when the optician is communicating with an optometrist of ophthalmologist on the specifics of a particular prescription. The courses can also help the optician with customers, as some of the information may assist the optician in helping patients choose lens styles and frames that work well with the contours of the face.
While optician training is not as comprehensive as pursuing an optometry degree, the information that must be absorbed is considerable. From a basic understanding of vision problems to providing personable but professional services to clients, optician training prepares this type of eye care expert to provide quality care each and every time.